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Self-defense… Templaros are not the only gangsters

21 January 2014

John Ackerman, although he may not always have an answer, asks the right questions.

Mexico is not Colombia and here drug trafficking is not on the side of the guerrilla forces, but on the side of the government. The actions of the self-defense groups have revealed the complicities of the three levels of government and the three main political parties with The Knights Templar and other organized crime groups. How else to explain the fact that the government has barely begun to act, even in a simulated way, against the ringleaders of drug trafficking in Michoacán*? Why did more than six years have to pass from the beginning of Operation Michoacán for Monte Alejandro Rubido, a “security” official who worked with Felipe Calderón as well as Peña Nieto, to announce that “the room for criminals to maneuver is practically reduced to zero”?

The ups and downs between negotiation, repression, sponsorship and reprimand by the government toward the “self-defense” groups show that the uprising has cornered the regime. Miguel Osorio does not tire of pointing out that civilians carrying of arms that are for use exclusively by the army will be punished in “strict compliance with the law.” However, at the same time the authorities are meeting with armed civil leaders [… B]arely two days after the appointment of Alfredo Castillo, 80 armed members of self-defense groups were escorted by a contingent from the Federal Police in their seizure of the municipality of La Huerta.


… What makes the difference today is the emergence of a positive synergy between civil society and the self-defense groups that is creating the grounds for the strengthening of popular power.

There would not then exist a distance as wide as some imagine between the new self-defense groups and other community groups with a long history of defending their peoples and lands, such as the Purepecha villagers of Cherán and the Nahua of Sierra de Manantlán. Although many leaders of the “self-defense” groups have effectively expressed a questionable amount of confidence toward the corrupt and useless state and federal governments, the two types of movements share the same social basis of dignified Mexicans willing to defend their property and their country. For instance, the recent return of lands that had been expropriated by drug traffickers to their rightful owners constitutes a very positive sign from the self-defense groups on expanding their intervention further than matters solely of public security.

The possibility of a general social uprising in Michoacán, one that would spread to other regions of the country, is real…

(Full article in English translation here.  Original Jornada article here).

* A question we have been asking here in Sinaloa about the seemingly simulated “war on drugs” against everyone BUT Chapo. 

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